John Deere
Colt project


Colt Single Action Army #92166

This pistol was originally shipped from the Colt factory on May 9, 1883 in the white to Hartley&Graham in New York, NY. for engraving and nickel plating.  At some point after that it was purchased by my grandfather.  He traveled with it out west where he made a living as a young man in the silver mineing towns of Colorado during the late 1880's.  Not much is known about his years in Colorado but one assumes they had to be rough exciting times for a young man in his early 20's.  Sometime around the turn of the century in the early 1900's he moved to Kansas and opened a doctors office in Haven, KS.   It was in Kansas that he married his nurse (my grandmother) and they had a single daughter.  Again not a lot is known but my mom remembers hearing stories of how he would make house calls on sick patients driving his buckboard in all kinds of weather.  From the description that my mother gives, he was the stereotypical county doctor much like Milburn Stone portrayed in the TV series Gunsmoke My mother also remembers stories of how he was one of the first people in that part of Kansas to buy a new fangled invention called an automobile.  She also talks about how during WW II there was severe rationing of petroleum based products and how my grandfather was one of the very few people who was allowed to buy as much gasoline and as many new tires as he needed.  The rest is what one would expect, in time the Colt became the property of my mother and later when I expressed interest in it's history she gave it to me.  At some point in the past the Colt was exposed to a severe fire of some sort, most likely a building that burned down and was badly damaged.  The pistol had very little value as it was and  I debated for a long time whether or not to have it restored.  In the end I decided, that to me, it was worth the expense.  So in April of 2000 I sent it off to a gun restorer in Iowa.   In December of 2003, I received the pistol back after a 3 1/2 year restoration process that saw the pistol rebuilt almost from scratch.  There was extensive damage to not only the exterior of the pistol but to the internal parts as well.  Ultimately to save the frame all the screw holes had to be welded shut and re-cut using EDM (Electric Discharge Machining) to precisely relocate the screw holes where they were originally.  The barrel was replaced and all the engraving from the original barrel was reproduced on the new barrel making it an exact duplicate.  The old bone grips were replaced with genuine Ivory grips as it would have been equipped new.  I will be taking more pictures as I get time.  To complete the restoration project I decided to make the pistol function as good as it looks.  I knew this was not going to be easy accomplish, so I sent the pistol to my favorite gunsmith in Montana who specializes in Colt SAA pistols by the name of Tom Sargis.  The pistol was with Tom for several weeks but when it was returned it now works better than new.


Before and After

the other side

  Here are some more before and after pictures.